Two pairs of Fetching for nieces.
One pair of gloves for sister, which matches the scarf I made for her
The yellow/orange gloves were based on a pattern which my Mum gave to me: the pattern is for plain gloves. I modified the pattern by knitting the ribbing in the orange, and added the fair-isle stripe. I ran out of the yellow and had to do one finger with a completely different yarn, that matches incredibly well, even though it is an unknown age and composition.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Two pairs of Fetching for nieces.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
All the Christmas crafting is now done, and unfortunately, it is all top secret, so I can't show you yet.
The post-Christmas crafting is being prepared. With my ILs around, I can't make anything that involves more then 2 seconds of concentration. Theirs is a non-knitting household, so they don't know not to interrupt a knitter who is counting stitches or following the intricate part of a chart. Hence the decision to make Kiddo the Funky Fur scarf she's been asking for: she has a Funky Fur hat which she loves.
I was doing last minute shopping yesterday, and stopped in John Lewis to buy the yarn. In their sale bin was a single ball in a colour to match her hat. I got a blue ball that goes well enough: all that is required now is a pair of knitting needles.
Because I am on a sort-of yarn diet, I admired the Kureyon they now sell, but didn't actually buy any. I also didn't buy any 4-ply to knit myself some gloves.
Posted by Penny at 12:20 pm
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Necessary family matters have been taking up much of my time recently. By the time I've spent up to seven hours driving in a day, I don't rather want to do anything that involves thought. I also haven't made much preparations towards Christmas, such as writing any Christmas cards, or buying much in the way of presents.
I did manage to do some knitting for two presents, and I am working on my third. They are all fast knits, not at all complicated, but on the off-chance any of the potential recipients are reading this, I won't show you them.
Instead, here are the leftovers from one project - the grey and the red - plus two strands to show the colour of the other project. This does count as partly stashbusting, I've decided that I have used by two balls of wool while making them. They were Debbie Bliss Merino Aran - the gray, which although a nice enough wool seemed very splitty. The red is a 4-ply Yorkshire Tweed from Rowan (used double) and it was much nicer to work with.
Posted by Penny at 10:43 am
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
- Lighting the advent candle at teatime. This is a tradition that started when Kiddo was three, and was given one at playgroup. We've had one every since (this year's came from Oxfam).
- Finding another person has added me to their sidebar - Kate.
I feel I've mostly posted about knitting recently: but that reflects what I've been doing. They're mainly Christmas presents. I nearly put some pictures up, and then I realised that one of the presents is for a Real-Life person who knows my link address.
Finally, Dave has been posting a lot on the true meaning of advent recently
Posted by Penny at 9:53 pm
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
This is a bit of a filler post: I haven't had much time for reading blogs, and so I haven't been planning blog posts either. (You wouldn't believe the number of blog posts I normally write in my head or jot out in text-edit, which never get that one step further to blogger. I haven't even got any of those lined up.)
On Tuesday I met Ferret for lunch, and as we were walking to our cars, we saw a sign for a digital photo exhibition. We had a very quick look at it. The one that stood out most for me was taken in a canyon. You could see through gaps in the canyon wall into another part of the canyon. The walls of the foreground canyon were shadowed (but not in darkness) and the colour of the stone was yellowy-brown stone. The other canyon was brilliantly lit with stone that looked pinky-orange in the sunlight. It deserves to be part of a fantasy novel.
I got to S'n'B on Wednesday: it was Chris's birthday, and there was plenty of cake to go round. I started a second pair of Fetching (the first pair was started after my last post and needs to have some thumbs). Tracey told us about the discussions for the book she is currently illustrating: if I told you what it was about, you might think Stash Enhancement eXpeditions, but you'd be wrong...
Iris has done a round-up of the one-yard fabric swop. I sent to Amanda - parcel here - and received this from Caitlyn. I enjoyed this swop: it was fun choosing a load of little things for someone else, and I especially liked the fabric shopping. Amanda's questionnaire, and her blog, gave enough clues to her colour preferences that I was confident she'd like mine. The nicest thing was that she said in her questionnaire that anything she was sent would be lovely.
Check out Iris' post for a full list of participants.
Posted by Penny at 6:46 pm
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I'm pleased to announce that Amanda has got the one yard fabric swop package I sent to her.
This was a fun swop to do. Part of the enjoyment was chosing one that was quite different from the type I buy myself. It was fun to go to a fabric shop and browse the shelves with a purpose: I don't seem to do that as often as I'd like. I enjoyed creating a selection of goodies that I thought she might enjoy.
Oh, and if any other non-Brits would like to try Marmite, the little sachets I sent her are easily available here and quite cheap. Leave me a comment, and we can sort out sending one to you.
Posted by Penny at 6:09 pm
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Inspired by Jane's photo of quinces, I have been looking at the luminousity of the yellow leaves on the trees around me. They almost glow in the dull November daylight.
I can't get a photo which captures the colours, although those give a hint of the effect.
My mobile phone case, looking a bit like a small furtive furry animal:
Pattern: made up as I go along
Yarn: from a scrumble pack by taj yarn, bought at Ally Pally - unknown fibre
Begun: 10th Nov 2006
Finished: 14th Nov
Hooks: Mostly 3.5mm hook, beginning chain 5.5mm hook
Stash reduction: counts as zero balls
I had a mental image of how I wanted my mobile phone case to look, and as I crocheted, I added stitches that made the case look right.
I choose light coloured yarns so I could see them at the bottom of my handbag. The fun fur was used so I could find it by feel. They came in a scrumble pack I bought from Taj Yarn at The Knitting and Stitching show in October: the scrumble pack has a variety of different colour-coordinated yarns with different textures weights etc, suitable for free-form and other experimental work.
(Note all terms use British notation: ie double crotchet is US single Crochet.)
My starting chain was slightly longer then the width of my phone and made using a 5.5 mm hook. I always find my chains are quite tight, hence the use of the large hook.
Changing to the smaller hook, I made a double crotchet into each chain except the last one, where I made two, then worked back making double crochets along the starting chain, back to the beginning. On the second round of double crochet, I made two stitches into the two stitches at each end of the piece, and one stitch into all the other ones: this was the base of the case.
I then did three or four rounds, making one double crotchet into each stitch of the preceding row.
At this point I added the fun fur: the fun fur looked finer then the other yarn, so for this round only, I alternated making 1dc into a stitch, then 2dc into the next stitch, then 1dc, then 2dc etc. I then worked two more rounds (three in total) in fun fur, followed by two in the plain yarn. Next round: fun fur, followed by three rounds plain yarn, followed by one of fun fur. After this, I stopped using fun fur. The effect I wanted was dense fur, gradually getting sparser.
I continued in rounds, until the case was two-thirds the length of the phone. I wanted to be able to answer the phone as quickly as possible, after fumbling for it in a bag, hence the pouch finished where the phone buttons started.
For the flap, I worked in straight rows, which were the width of the case plus two stitches. The last stitch of each row was a single chain for the turning chain. When I got to the row at the top of the phone I shaped it very slightly, by making a slip stitch into the last stitch of the row below.
I carried on like this until I'd got to the right place for the buttonhole. The rows were 12 stitches wide, and for the buttonhole I made 4 double chain, 5 chain in the air, and missed 4 stitches, then made 4dc into the last four stitches. On the way back, I made a dc into each stitch in the row below - ie I'd increased by one stitch, 13 in total. Next row, a dc into first 4 stitches, missed a stitch, 3dc into following stitches, missed a stitch and 4dc into following stitches (11 in total). Finally I made another two or three rows, then finished off.
I sewed the toggle into place, and finished off all the ends.
As I haven't done much crotchet, I'm particularly pleased with it. This is the first time I've managed to get an even edge.
I found it very easy to crotchet what I was visualising, much easier then with knitting. Knitting produces a flat fabric, but with crotchet you can make three dimensional objects.
Posted by Penny at 10:49 pm
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Today is my one-year blogoversary. I feel like I ought to write about How Blogging Changed My Life, and All The Cool Bloggers I've Met.
However, blogging hasn't changed my life, and I haven't met many people through it. I think I've only met one person how I wouldn't otherwise have met, and that's Caroline. I feel like I should have met Ferret through blogging, but I met her the old-fashioned real-life common-interest way.
That's not to say that the Internet hasn't changed my life. I've been posting on the Internet for over a decade, on usenet and other discussion boards. Impossible to use something for so long and remain unchanged by it.
It's only in the last year or so that my off-line life and my on-line life have started to mesh. For a very long time, most real-life acquaintances didn't really use the Internet, now with some of them we communicate most often using the Internet.
I've been thinking about doing a blogoversery give-away, but I don't know what to give away. I feel, as this tends to be a crafty-blog, it should be craft related, but what? I don't want to go and buy anything, because I am trying to destash, so that means something I've got already. But the things I have come into two categories:
- Stuff I want to use and
- Stuff I don't want to use which must be, by definition, tat
I don't want to give away tat, because no-one would want tat. So I'd have to give away something I want, but because I want it, I don't want to give it away...
Posted by Penny at 6:30 pm
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I've nearly finished messing round with the colour, just want to replace the pink stripes, but that is either more css then I know or graphics editing.
If anything I've changed is having a disasterious effect on viewability, could you let me know please.
Posted by Penny at 9:55 pm
As I'd got up to seven knit WIP on Friday (excluding sewing WIP), I'm rather pleased to announce some finishes.
On Friday, I finished knitting a potscourer, made from an old plastic carrier bag (I might tell you how to do it later, OK). I'd started it on Wednesday or Thursday, so I think that was pretty good going.
Yesterday, I finished knitting a mini-Clapotis scarf for DD. She made sure the dropped stitches were dropped, and really enjoyed doing it. I can see the appeal of this bit, but basically, I found the knitting side of things rather boring. It is slightly complicated stocking stitch: on the knit side of the fabric, the pattern is two thirds knit stitches, one third twisted knit stitches. The purl side is all purl, but you have to move the stitch markers over. It is too complicated to read and knit, but you can knit it and watch TV (except Torchwood). On the other hand, the pattern is extremely well-written, and it would show off a beautiful yarn to perfection.
The seventh knit WIP is actually crotchet. For years I've used DH's old work phones, after he upgrades: by the time I get them, they are well-used, so I've always just left them lurking at the bottom of my handbag. DH was given a flash new phone at work by one of his suppliers: however it wasn't compatable with some other system he needs, so I got the phone. This one deserves a case, so I have been crotcheting one for it. It is a very simple pattern I am making up as I go along, even though it involves changes of yarn and going in rounds, and three dimensional bits all of which I have never done before. All in all, I'm very pleased with it.
I'll upload photos, later, possibly.
As it is coming up to my blogoversary, I've decided to do a little giveaway. Check back in a day or too for details.
Posted by Penny at 12:31 pm
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Yesterday was a day of breakages and I didn't get to S'n'B because of one.
It started with Kiddo dropping a breakfast bowl in the morning, which shattered across the kitchen floor.
In the afternoon, Kiddo switched on a light: there was the sound of something dropping and breaking, and the entire house was plunged into darkness as the electricity tripped off.
The landing light bulb had broken in the light fitting, and scattered shards of glass over the stairs, and also the pile of clean clothes I'd ironed earlier yesterday. If you know how frequently I ironed (hint: dh has ironed his own shirts since long before we met), then you'd know what a tragedy this was. The stairs were vacuumed, the washing shaken out, hung in the garden and now re-washed.
I could have still gone out, had dh not rung up on the route home from work. He'd got a puncture, and had to perform a road-side tyre change in the dark. Luckily, he carries a fluorescent yellow fleece in his boot, so at least he could be seen.
I decided to do something about cleaning the kitchen instead, and cast on my 6th knitting WIP, a non-stick pot-scourer.
I'm at home still this morning: dh has taken my car to work, and I'm in charge of getting a new tyre. Unfortunately, it is an unusual type, and nowhere has it in stock. Luckily our local tyre service can get it in for this afternoon.
NB Boot in British car lingo equates to trunk in US car lingo: the only clothing dh has in his footwear are socks.
Posted by Penny at 12:29 pm
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
The family has just been to the fireworks display on the village green: a huge bonfire, the smell of wood smoke, burgers, candy floss, and lots of fireworks.
It struck me how uncommercialised the whole event was - the whole tradition.
Halloween in my part of Britain used to be a minor adjunct a few days before Guy Fawkes night: I went to the occasional Halloween-themed party, but it was never the focus.
Compare it to recent years: in the supermarket on Tuesday were racks of horror-themed costumes, orange trick-or-treat buckets, pumpkin cake moulds, ghost ice cube trays etc. Next to the sausages - bonfire-night food - was no mention of any associated event. There were toffee apples on sticks - another food which goes with fireworks - again no mention of an associated event.
On Thursday, the staff were removing the Halloween themed products and replacing them with Christmas crackers etc. But still no mention of fireworks.
It annoyed me: a traditional English event glossed over by English retailers. Instead they were focusing on imported traditions, simply because they could make lots of money on products that would either be eaten or sent to landfill in a few days.
However standing on the Green, watching the fireworks go off, listening to the bangs, I was glad the retailers were ignoring it.
There was nothing there because some marketing department had decided it would be good for their profits. Admittedly there were things to spend money on, but not a lot. Burgers or hotdogs - simple fare to eat outside on a cold night. Glow sticks, for the children to play with: some people had brought sparklers. A couple of fun-fair rides, bright in the darkness. Popcorn, freshly made, and candy floss, the only food available that could never be made healthy.
Everything was there because people would enjoy them, nothing was being pushed on us. Enjoyable it all was.
Posted by Penny at 11:59 pm
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I got my one-yard fabric swop from Caitlyn, and it was a wonderful package.
First I saw the yarn:
Then a peek at the sweets: some expresso chocolate, some sweetie frogs, and a bottle of body lotion.
And the two pieces of Amy Butler fabric at the bottom.
Caitlyn had picked yarns that are hard or impossible to get here. The colours were chosen because I'd said because I said I liked autumn colours.
The Knitpicks yarn is laceweight alpaca and is wonderfully soft. In artificial light it is a reddy brown, but in daylight it is much richer with hints of almost gold. I'd have definitely have chosen this myself.
There was also a skein of Manos del Uruguay. It is quite bulky, and has an amazing array of colours ranging from toffee to turquoise.
The other yarn was Cascade 220, which you can't get in the shops here.
Everything in the package was lovely: Caitlyn obviously thought carefully about what she choose. Thank you, Caitlyn, very much.
Posted by Penny at 10:51 pm
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
"Elegance", Art on Canvas, £700
Today, I went into a localish art gallery, the kind of place where you expect to pay several hundred pounds for a cheap painting, and an expensive painting costs thousands.
The notes I made are above: this was not the place to take photos.
Over at the Wittering Rainbow's blog, she's been cogitating on textile
art, art quilts and the Quilter's Guild and the craft of quilting.
What makes this canvas, with a few large stitches "art", and a piece created entirely from textiles not-art?
Posted by Penny at 9:25 pm
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Obviously, this blog post should be about the things I bought at Alexandra Palace. But it isn't. This post is really about the wool already had.
(For those interested, if you count the scrumble pack from Taj yarns as containing four balls of wool, I bought 21 balls in total.)
I've been tracking how much I bought over the last year and how much I used/gave away, and they come out roughly equal. However, that still left me with the problem of knowing what I had. Or more importantly whether I ever had enough of any one type to make the things I want to make.
Which led to the Great Wool Sort of 2006.
It was a simple process. I sorted the yarn in the big blue box into categories (usually brand/type, occasionally yarn-type), and wrote the number of different balls of each colour onto bits of paper.
One conclusion was inevitable.
I have rather a lot of yarn.
I won't say how much, but it is a number of jumpers-worth.
Actually having enough for several jumpers doesn't bother me, it is all the odd balls, like the ones in the picture. I bought them when I was thinking about knitting some Kaffe-Fassett style jumpers. On the other hand, imagine if I'd bought enough for a jumper each time I bought a single ball...
Posted by Penny at 3:29 pm
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Last year's Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace is the reason I started blogging. My internet usage predates blogs, and although I read a few, I couldn't really see the appeal.
Until I came back from Ally Pally, and thought I'd check to see if anyone else had been.
I found blog after blog talking about it: but it wasn't the blogs so much, as the way the bloggers had been meeting and talking. It was the sense of community I could see they had, and I wanted to be in.
It was also something I'd seen, when I saw a grey-haired stallholder greet another greyhaired woman with the pleasure of many years of similar meetings.
Admittedly, I didn't rush in to it, but warmed up slowly. Even after I got my blog, I've joined very little in the way of blogrings or Secret Pal swops.
This year I went twice to AP. I met people from Angelyarns knitting forums. I meet (a very few) other bloggers. I even got the same cheerful greetings from two stallholders, Hipknit's Kerrie and Traveller's Tales cross-stitch kit.
I won't go to Harrogate this year, but I'm planning to meeting Kerrie on the HipKnits stand at AP in 2020, or maybe some of the rest of you too.
(Oh, you're looking for the pictures? They'll come.)
Posted by Penny at 6:55 pm
Monday, October 09, 2006
These three pictures all show the same ball of Fleece Artist merino bought from Get Knitted stall at the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC. The colourway is called moss, and you can see how accurately they have replicated the colours of real moss.
Although the wool is sold as sock wool, it tells me "I'm a shawl, a lacy shawl, a pretty lacy shawl you want to knit soon". However, I only got one skein - 325m long - which doesn't seem like a lot.
Luckily it is enough for the Diamond Fantasy shawl designed by Sivia Harding. In fact, the shawl shown on her website used Fleece Artist merino. All the 'Net Knitters I can find seem to have liked it. But I wasn't sure about.
On Sivia's website are some free patterns: one of them is the Diamond Lace Bookmark. My first thought was to use chunky wool, make it longer and call it a scarf. Until I realised I have just the right thing to use: a ball of fine mystery yarn that dates back to the earliest days of my stash. I bought a lidded basket at a jumble sale, when I was at primary school and once home, I found this wool in it.
I cast on yesterday, and earlier today I scanned this:
It's grown since then.
Posted by Penny at 4:01 pm
Sunday, October 08, 2006
I'll be going to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace next week, probably on Friday (by myself) and on Saturday with the S'n'B group. I'm looking forward to it.
My show guide has arrived. Last year all the exhibitors for all shows were listed in the main guide: this year each show has a seperate insert, presumably printed in the last few days before the show. Twisted Threads did send me a letter apologizing for the mix up: when I booked the tickets, I spoke about being going to both the NEC show and the Ally Pally one, so they were going to send me the Ally Pally guide. There are so many more exhibitors at Ally Pally (well over 200) that you do need the guide to plan. For the NEC one, you could just wonder round and feel sure you hadn't missed anything much.
Places to check include Habu who make a stainless steel yarn wrapped in silk. I looked for some of this last time, but didn't find any, and was most frustrated when I saw a blog post from someone who had got it. Habu has their stall at TGB7, which is opposite a wall.
Dh is muttering about not bringing too much home: he needs to see some photos of generous amounts of stuff that other people buy. That way my arrival home with a bag or four will not be seen as too excessive. Actually, he doesn't mind stuff arriving, as long as he also sees stuff being used in similar quantities.
Posted by Penny at 9:35 am
Friday, October 06, 2006
I combined two things I wanted to do today: a trip to the Quilt Room in Dorking with buying the fabic for my one yard fabric swop partner. Several people have recommended the Quilt Room to me, but it is quite a trek from here. However, today I had the option of driving round Dorking, or driving through it and stopping off at the shop.
I don't know what was up with the one way system in Dorking, but honestly I think it would have been faster to park my car on the outskirts and walk in. OTOH, I parked in a little car park almost opposite the shop: unfortunately when I drove out of the car park, I had a mystery choice of about seven roads that were dead ends, or the one road that takes you back into the main road system. That road is not marked, so you have to guess which its going to be, and twice I guessed wrong. If you ever need to know, turn left out of the car park.
The shop itself is made of three or four smallish interconnected rooms. One room is dedicated to bolts of fabric, another is entirely quilting books. A third room has sixty or seventy rolls of fossil fern. Another room has the notions and fat quarters and similar things. Upstairs is a large room with a table, clearly for workshop space.
I looked at the material, but I had a Purpose. I needed to buy the fabric for my one yard fabric swop partner. Well, actually I didn't need to, because I am going to the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally next week, so I could get it then. But I wanted to get it before, because otherwise I'll just spend the week second guessing myslf. Of course, if I see anything better there, I'll have to keep this one for myself.
It was fun, because I was looking for something I wouldn't normally buy for myself. I knew which colours she likes, and a range of fabrics she likes. However, the range is hard to get over here, but there is another range which is readily available over here, but supposed to be similar. The Quilt room did actually have some of her range, but the colours were ones she said she didn't like. So I got some of the local range because some of the colours were right and none of the colours were wrong.
Once home, I looked through her blog archieves, and she has posted lots of things in the fabric's colours. I think I choose the right colours, it all depends on whether she likes the design. I think she is quite easy going.
Posted by Penny at 7:03 pm
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I've been working on the embroidery I started last week: I've done the main part, and am now just doing the background.
Really, I'm popping in with a message for my one yard fabric swop partner - hello! I know the answers on my questionnaire were long and detailed, but please don't let that bother you. Whatever you send will be lovely.
Posted by Penny at 10:30 pm
Friday, September 29, 2006
- immediately cast on a new and exciting knitting project
- finish off an old and boring knitting project, so I had mental space to cast on a new and exciting knitting project later
- finish off some non-knitting UFO, so I could cast on a new and exciting knitting project later
- decide to start some completely unrelated non-knitting embroidery project
Er, the last option. I started a kit I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show from Needleworks. It is a fairly small project, which should only take a few evenings. I might send it to swop partner, which gives me a perfect excuse not to pfaff round taking photos etc.
In other news, I got my copy of the "Proud to be Crafty" 'zine from Little Lixie yesterday. She has useful info, as how to make an oyster card holder and the parts of sheep.
Posted by Penny at 4:41 pm
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Yesterday was warm with a strong breeze, ideal for cleaning anything from laundry to carpets. Today, it was tipping down. Guess which day I'd arranged to get the carpets cleaned?
After the carpet cleaner had gone, I ventured out to look for Popular Patchwork. I had an errand in a different town to normal, and an unfamiliar WH Smith. This one had:
- six cardmaking magazines
- three general papercraft magazines
- eight cross-stitch magazines
- one general embroidery magazine
- a rack of puzzle magazines
- zero patchwork magazines
Posted by Penny at 3:40 pm
I seem to have accidently deleted all my photos from the web server where I keep them.
Oh rats, dash it all, and other rude words.
I've still got the originals: however I don't intend to upload all of them again right now, or possibly ever. I will improve the directory structure first.
Meanwhile Tracey is blogging aqain.
And if you want a picture:
Posted by Penny at 8:35 am
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I got into town earlier, and found a huge pile of Popular Patchwork magazines: unfortunately they are from the last issue. The new issue is officially due out on Friday 22nd.
The wallhanging arrived home today: along with a very nice letter. I think it said there were 130 entries, or there abouts. Also enclosed was a photo of the booth. I hadn't got one, so it is nice to have. Even though my little hanging was in an obscure spot (practically on the floor, with a socket on one side and a table on the other), it was still in full view on the photo. The other thing in the parcel was a quilt label.
A special thank you to Ferret. Ages ago, she said that it didn't matter how much experience anyone had, one should still enter competitions. Without that encouragement, I would have had the ideas, but I just wouldn't have entered. So what if I didn't win? I enjoyed making it.
Posted by Penny at 9:53 pm
Monday, September 18, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I went to the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC yesterday (Friday), and bought lots of buttons - two "lucky dip bags" full of odds and ends - as well as some other buttons. I spent a lot of time this morning seeing if there were any matches and there were. I didn't take any pictures: I started to do a little bit, then Kiddo came to help, and suddenly there were hundreds of little piles on the dining room table, all of which had to be moved so we could have lunch.
I got a 350g hank of pure wool for £7.50, a ball of sock wool from Web of Wool to match the jumper I am slowly knitting with wool I bought from them at Alexandra Palace last year. I got a ball of Fleece Artist sock wool from the get knitted stall, with the vague thought of turning it into a nearly Clapotis, but I don't think I have enough.
I subscribed to Yarn Forward, I bought a couple of books, and some material, two cross-stitch kits and a few other odds and ends. I might take some photos later. I looked for, but failed to find, Interweave Knits magazine or the Mason-Dixie book, both of which I want.
I didn't met any bloggers other then Kerrie, but we had a good chat.
The overall impression was that it is
- significantly smaller then Alexandra Palace
- far fewer visitors
- a good range of crafts
- few stalls of a particular type
I'm glad I went, but I'm also glad I'll be going to Ally Pally.
One frustration: I knitted my sock on the train on the way there, and I seem to have lost one of the needles. Maybe it will turn up...
Posted by Penny at 11:20 pm
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Months ago - about July - I ordered tickets for the Knitting and Stitching Show(s), which are held at the NEC, Alexander Palace, Harrogate and Dublin. (A ticket doesn't specify which venue, you can use them at any one.) The one at the NEC is this weekend, starting on Thursday, and I plan to go there on Friday, and to Alexandra Palace in October.
I also ordered the Guide to the show. If you buy it in advance, you have to pay postage, but it also allows you to work out your "must-sees" from your "would be nices", and hence avoid lots of pointless milling round. In addition it would enable me to work out which stallholders I'd only see at the NEC: I would want to concentrate more time/spending on them.
Well, it hasn't turned up! I rang up on Monday morning, and was told they had been sent out at the end of last week. The post hadn't arrived at that point, so I was willing to wait. But it didn't come with yesterday's post, or today's.
I rang again today: '!Saul' told me I could get a claim form when I was there: but that is just a load of unnecessary pfaffing, and totally negates the reason for ordering it in advance.
Instead I am trying various web searches to see if I can find anyone who might be going, and basically spending a long time hurridly turning it into a spreadsheet of things to see.
PS It was looking at loads of the blog entries after I had been to Alexandra Palace on my own that got me into blogging, and hence to this blog.)
Posted by Penny at 6:45 pm
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Late last night, I came across the sheep challange at Wooly Wornhead's blog. The challange is to take photots of "daft, imaginary or artificial" sheep. It sounded interesting, but I was undecided about joining.
Today I was driving through a village, which was holding a village fete (raising funds for a new roof for the church). At the refreshments table, there was a plate of farmyard fairy cakes.
A child had paused to choose one, but which...?
It wasn't this one:
My first sheep!
Posted by Penny at 8:35 pm
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Just like Caroline yesterday, my children were back at school today, and just like Caroline, I was ready to start crafting at ten.
I decided to make the "needle nest" kit I'd bought from Village Fabrics at the Festival of Quilts. I was tempted to replace their material with some other, and then use this same other material to make a pin cushion. OTOH, I almost certainly didn't have the right types, and then I'd wait until I'd bought some, and the whole thing would go on and on.
Here is what came with the kit:
And here is the other equiptment I thought I might need.
Do I have any co-ordinating blue thread?
Look at how well I got the lines to cross - I did it by eye.
I didn't like their button much so I thought I'd see if I had an alternative: theirs is the one on the top left, but I thought the one on the bottom left matched better.
I thought the kit was very good. The material was good quality. The instructions were clear and easy to follow.
I'd give it an overall 10 out of 10.
Posted by Penny at 8:59 pm
Monday, September 04, 2006
This post is really for Ferret, who is making quilts that depict bridges.
One of my favourite bridges on the M25 is between junction 12 and 13. I was already vaguely aware it was of interest to civil engineers, but here is the results of tonight's surfing.
This picture was already uploaded to blogger (not by me), but has almost certainly been swiped from the Motorway Archive pages of the Institution of Highways & Transportation website.
The Lyne Railway Bridge was the first concrete cable-stayed bridge in Great Britain, and the first cable stayed railway bridge in Western Europe. The resident engineer was Stephen Brame.
More information about it can be found at ICE website and here with a mention here.
If you'd like more information about cable-stayed bridges, you might still be able to get a place on this course at the Wessex Institute of Technology, a snip at €1200, including lunch and coffee. If that is a bit too expensive, you could buy this book from the American Society of Civil Engineers, a mere $137. On the other hand the Bridge Pros and the Bridges Project sites probably tell you all you need to know for free.
Posted by Penny at 9:41 pm
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I just found out about this from Caroline's blog and thought it looked interesting.
My blogs of note are:
- 43 Folders, a blog about putting "Getting Things Done" into practise, and the first blog I followed. I don't keep up with it these days, but it is a good read, and has lots of "add-ons", like a message board for fellow GTDers.
- The Girl from Auntie, a lawyer who also designed Rogue, the sweater pattern popular amongst knitters - although I like Eris more. Not updated often, but she covers copyright and similar issues on her blog.
- Hugo Schwyzer, a male lecturer on gender studies, who writes about feminism from a Christian perspective.
- Scrappy Happy Quilts by Starfishy. A blog about quilting.
- Whipup net, which is basically links to different craft ideas and blogs.
I picked these because I do read them all sometimes. Hopefully there is a good range of blogs there, so you can find something just a little different from your normal reading. None of them are obscure - had I got a bit more time, I'd have picked some other blogs, the ones that have fewer comments.
Posted by Penny at 10:11 pm
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
- I'm planning to go to the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC in September. It would be fun to have another blogger meet, but I can't go at the weekend. I'll probably go on Friday 15th, and if so, I'll be at Subway at 2pm, along with my green stripey bag.
- I'll be going to Alexander Palace as well.
- I've added a photo to my profile - it's of my green stripey bag. Not because I need a bag over my head to look presentable :-). Mainly because one brown haired, brown eyed woman in glasses is much like another and hence if you did see me at any of these shows you might not realise it is me. OTOH, there Can Be Only One green stripey bag and hence you might recognise when it is out and about.
- I've signed up for the one yard fabric swap organised by Iris.
Posted by Penny at 10:00 pm
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Imagine seeing the perfect pattern for material you love.
That happened to me at the Festival of Quilts.
I loved the material first. It had been a candidate for the Mystery Quilt, but I chose peas and cabbages instead. However, a month later, I went back to the shop with a picture of a floral quilt downloaded from the internet (the website is no more) and some rough sketches of a possible design and said "sell me enough material to make something like these". So they did.
I hadn't got round to thinking about the design. Too many other things to do first, like Charmed, and Autumn Leaves, and the Mystery Quilt. And finish knitting the Lichen jumper, and the Limbo jumper and the First Socks. And then there are the embroidery projects as yet unfinished.
But I saw the quilt to make with it on the Magic Patch magazine display. I asked, it is in the issue due out next (number 33, which will be available in early October). I'm planning to make it, mostly using the same material.
The design of the Magic Patch quilt is perfect for the material. When I saw it, my reaction was "oh wow, I must have do that". It wasn't a design that happened to use the material, it was designed for the material. Yes, there appear to be lots of material designs that are similar - like some of the Australiana ones from Aussie Dreams. And you could adapt the main idea for other fabrics, but this quilt was designed for this material.
Following a design so closely is really not like me. A while ago, I read a post on someone's blog about how to be more daring in one's quilting. It had things like "use different colours", and "make it a different size". Elsewhere I read a post by someone who felt really daring the first time she used a "light blue", instead of the "dark blue" the quilt designer specified. In both cases my reaction was closer to "do some people not automatically make changes to designs?" then "wow, how daring".
The material - from the Southwest range by Timeless Treasures - isn't actually an Australiana one. I thought it was, but it isn't. When I was looking for more material - the design has turquoise in it, I have no turqoise material - I came across the Lady Button Fabrics website, and their description of the fabric
told me the figure is actually Kokopelli, a figure in the Hopi legends of the Anasazi Indians.
Posted by Penny at 5:24 pm
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
The Festival of Quilts is in a huge undercover hall. I can't guess how big the space is, acres in size. There were, according to the show guide, over 1000 quilts. With a mere day, there was no way I could see everything.
When I look at the photos other people have taken, I don't recognise the quilts at all. It is almost as if they went to a different exhibition.
My first action on arrival was to search for the Popular Patchwork stand to see if my quilt was on display. And it was! Not very prominent, near the floor, with the table on one side and a plug socket to the other. It was on the edge of the crowd, a bit shy but trying to join in with the other brasher quilts who had jostled to the centre of the display. They had so many entrants which meant quite a lot (ten or more) weren't displayed, but they hadn't ranked them. I saw Rosalind's fairy (it was one of the few I noticed, because it had a magical theme), a witch, a voodoo head. I saw a boat shttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifailing on the sea, a seashore theme, hands clasped in marriage. One of my favourites had a number of small patchwork blocks, 2 or 3 inches across. I didn't take any photos here, so you'll just have to imhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifagine a wall completely covered by small quilted pictures.
Next I looked for Ferret's works. I couldn't find her in the index: her name came after the 'Z' surnames. When I saw the Patchwork Corner stand, I asked Doug if he knew where her pieces were, but he didn't. I hope he saw them, they are good.
I looked at quilts and I looked at stalls until it was time to meet Ferret, who showed me some of her quilts and then we went for a late lunch. We'd agreed to meet at Subway, which was directly ouside the halls used for last year's exhibition. This year, the Festival had moved, so it was a long walk along the outside passage: I hope no other bloggers gave up looking for it. I left my stripy bag on the table, but we weren't hopeful of anyone turning up. Then we saw someone coming close, looking at the bag, and finally asking whether I was Penny. Hooray, we had another blogger, Caroline from Dolly Day Dream. We talked about lots of things: I can't remember all of it.
We went back into the hall together, and Ferret showed us her quilts. The nudes was very impressive: when you see the size of the squares that formed the blue one, you realise just what an undertaking it was. We started talking to another quilter, who took us to see the Egyptian picture she done. It looked like a hierograph, with some pictures in the middle as well.
Then we went to see my quilt, and on to Ferret's other ones. The Union Jack is very punk-era, a quilt for the Generation X. I don't know what the elderly quilters thought, but to me, it was iconic. The globe was good too. And so was the PCB quilt - I'm glad the batteries lasted out. Ferret and Caroline had to go, I wondered looking at my quilts. I'd left most of my shopping to the end, noting down stalls I definately wanted to go back to. As I walked to the entrance, I bought a copy of the first Elm's Creek book, and then checked out a few more quilts.
I've been to a few small quilt shows, but to only one other since I've got into making them. This was just so much larger then the church halls I'd been in before. There seemed to be more space around the quilts to view them, and it was also nice to be able to discuss them with people who were interested. However, as this post I also needed a chance to look and absorb them on my own.
I might put some more piccies up later, along with some more thoughts.
Posted by Penny at 9:46 pm
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Last year, after the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally last year, I decided to start a blog. I'd been to the show and wanted to talk about it, but no-one I knew was really interested in what I'd seen. A general google search found loads of blogs talking about it and I thought "wow, I want to join in here!"
I stuck to my shopping list (and my budget!) reasonably well. I could have bought whole loads more, but like my last post says, I have enough right now.
This one was entirely appropriate: torrential rain started just after 4pm, and drummed on the roof, making lots of people mutter to themselves, well I'll just have to stay a little bit longer. There was an enormous clap of thunder overhead at 4.30, which made everyone jump.
Fabric- quantities are in Fat Quarters.
- Pansies: 0. Only one stall seemed to have any, and I've got some from that range in my stash already.
- Landscape Pictures: 19. Hmmm, I think I have enough to make a choice of pictures now. Most of it was bought in the last half hour: Lady Sew and Sew (about G7) were doing a special deal of 5 FQs for £1 off, so obviously I had to get some.
- Astronomical material: 2. I got one FQ similar to the Robert Kaufman Stargazers range: the only other suitable material I saw was the metallic range. OTOH, I didn't look at any hand dyed fabric.
- Six inch charm squares that cost less then 20p each: 0. I saw no 6" charm squares at any price, although there were lots of 5" charm squares. My project could use 5" squares but that would restrict my options later.
- Anything else I really, really like: 11, splits into:
- 3 Christmas related,
- 4 for aboriginal quilt. The Magic Patch quilt I saw had more variety then I think I have, so I got several similar fabrics to ensure a good colour match.
- 1 fairy (to make up the buy 5 offer at LS&S),
- 2 Nearly Landscape Pictures
- 1 tubes of paint
- Kits from Village Fabrics, to make a folding bag and a needle case
- Box for bobbin cases
- 9mm knitting needles: an unusual size
- Ball ended 30cm zip from EuroJapanLinks
- Pattern for a picture of fields
- Pieceful Scenes book by Angela Madden
- The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. I've started reading this: it stands as a well-written novel in its own right, as well as having good descriptions of quilts and quilting.
- Catalog of the quilts on show at the Irish Patchwork Society stand
- Coffee, coke and sandwiches
I wrote the original list from memory: and only the 3FQ marked in magenta, and the exact numbers of landscape FQ were missed off it. That marks me as Sensible Show Shopper of this Blog! In addition it all fits into my stripy bag (apart from the coffee :-) ), so I'm also marked as Reasonably Restrained Shopper of the Blog!
PS Sorry about the formatting: it has taken forever just to get it to this state. no wonder I don't normally bother with pictures!
Posted by Penny at 8:24 pm
Friday, August 18, 2006
I've just got back from the Festival of Quilts, about ten minutes ago.
We had a three person bloggers meet - me, Ferret and Caroline. We chatted lots, looked at some quilts and generally had a good time.
I only took my mobile phone camera with me, which was a mistake. I never use it normally, so I hadn't realised quite how bad the pictures are. OTOH, it forced me to look closely at the quilts, because I couldn't rely on photos. I'll see what they are like, and put the best ones up later. I sketched out some ideas as well.
Really, there was more to see then you have time to see in one day, and even if you did look at all of them, the number is too many to absorb. You just have to focus on a few, and accept that you will miss some.
I came home having seen two I really like, enough to ask about patterns. One uses some of the aboriginal style fabric I bought a while ago (did I blog it? I remember typing about it) and will be featured in "Magic Patchwork" No 33, whilch will be out in early October. The other was a landscape displayed on the Lady Sew and Sew stand (at about G6), which was just stunning, but they didn't have a pattern.
I did spend a little money, but all my purchases fit easily into my stripy bag, so I can't have been too extravagent.
Pizza has arrived, time to stop.
PS Ferret is listed at the back of the program, after "Z".
Posted by Penny at 7:11 pm
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
My stash overfloweth. I have more then enough in the way of material, wool, yarn and just general crafty stuff, to keep me making things for quite some time. I have material in the garage, and yarn in a kid's room. So, in terms of both time-to-complete and storage-capacity, I really don't need to do any random supply buying at the Festival of Quilts.
I do have some ideas of future projects that I'll want to do one day, possibly, maybe. My aim is to only buy material that will be appropriate for any such future plans.
- Pansies: I have the urge to do something pansy related, but I don't know what yet.
- Pictures: like the cloud material from the Makeower Maritime range, which I used in my Charmed quilt. Making pictures using picture fabric appeals to me.
- Astronomical material: for quilts showing star formation and the night sky, and I think I'd like to make some using fabric like this range.
- Six inch charm squares that cost less then 20p each: I have a source for them at that price, and I am actually using them up. If I'd got round to showing you my Project Spectrum efforts you could see them too. The project I am doing is not for Project Spectrum, so I'm not restricted colour-wise.
- Anything else I really, really like: I do have to allow for complete impulse. After all, you go to this kind of show to find new ideas. Aboriginal inspired prints and things that make me think "bricks" are permitted.
PS I'll be taking my green stripey bag when I go on Friday, so if you see it, please say "Hi". It'll probably be around "Subway" at about 2pm, so be sure to look for it there. Please don't be shy, even if I'm talking to anyone else.
Posted by Penny at 12:46 pm
Monday, August 14, 2006
I haven't posted, for the very simple reason I haven't had access to a computer: we've been on holiday to Ireland. Of course, in Ireland, there are computers, it was just that I didn't use one myself.
Two things stood out for me:- firstly the undertaking lanes on roads. Where the road was wide enough (and on most N roads it was), slower cars and lorries would move to the side so you could overtake.
The second thing was that "family tickets" covered two adults and four children. Most places I go in the UK, a family ticket is for two adults and only two chioldren.
Lastly, I didn't go into any fabric shops, but I did come home with some new yarn and wool. I gathered a small quantity of fleece on our walk in the hills overlooking Bantry Bay. Then in the town below, I bought some Tivoli Space in shades of red and pattern 2920. I also bought some aran tweed, a pure wool made by Kilcarra of Donegal. I got a mix of green and light grey. It was an old-fashioned wool shop, of the type where the shop-keeper expects you to know what you are planning to knit - a child's sweater, a woman's jacket - and then buy the pattern and yarn needed. New style yarn shops are laid out in the expectation that you will choose the yarn first, and then decide what you will make with it.
PS Pluto isn't about to be kicked out of the solar system, even if it is no longer catagorised as a planet.
Posted by Penny at 9:10 pm
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Lots of things I could blog about, but right now my computer time is limited.
I'm still planning to go to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC on Friday 18th, so if any one wants to meet me there let me know. Well, Ferret and I will meet anyway, but we'd like to see you as well.
I ought to blog about what Project Spectrum stuff I've done recently: I bought a pack of 30 6 inch charm squares, which all had varying amounts of purple. I cut some of them up, ready to sew, on the 31st July, but they are still sitting on the dining room table. I haven't done anything with this month's colours of black, white and neutral.
Posted by Penny at 7:20 pm
Thursday, July 27, 2006
"Your item with reference XXX12345XX was delivered from our ORPINGTON Delivery Office on 27/07/06 .
Thank you for using this service.
We can confirm that this item was delivered before the guaranteed time.
The electronic Proof of Delivery may not be available for this item yet. Please allow up to 72 hours after delivery before checking. "
Posted by Penny at 4:18 pm
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've just got back from taking my wallhanging to the pub.
Yes, I did mean pub, place where beer is served.
Don't worry, it didn't have a drink or anything like that: our village doesn't have a post office, so three times a week a lady from the Post Office comes to the pub and sets up a temporary PO counter for the morning.
So I took my carefully wrapped wallhanging over there, and handed it over to the vagaries of the postal system, and paid the expensive, guarenteed next-day-delivery charge and left it.
Posted by Penny at 10:33 am
Monday, July 24, 2006
Firstly, you have about 12 hours to give some advice. My original plan was to embroider "The dragon is charmed, I'm sure the boy is safe" alond the side of the wallhanging. I've decided not to. If you think it needs the title, I need to know before I post it tomorrow morning.
This was taken earlier today: since then, I've quilted two tiny, almost invisible, stars into the background, and taken out the safety pin. I'm currently sewing on the label.
At this point in making a wallhanging, you don't want the following scenario to happen:
The seamstress puts the wallhanging down on the settee.
Enter small child, holding a tissue. Child sits on settee, next to wallhanging.
Child: Mummy, I've got a nosebleed.
The quilt was unmarked. Oh, and the child is all right too.
Posted by Penny at 8:50 pm
Sunday, July 23, 2006
My charmed quilt is now quilted, and I've sewn on the binding on two sides.
I'm really pleased with it so far. It is the first bit of quilting I've done (and I'm entering it for a competition?!?). The quilting is really simple. Where I've used pictures cut out from fabric, I've quilted round the lines of the pictures, eg round the wizard's hand and the outline of the dragon. I've also quilted straight lines between the silvery lines I showed in the last post. The last bit of quilting has lines between the wizard's crystal ball and a circular picture of the charmed dragon and boy.
I took a whole load of pictures in the hopes of showing you how effectiveness of the quilted spell lines, but none of them captured it.
There's a large area (about 4 inches by 8 inches) where there is no quilting. Two of the hanging rings on the back are in the unquilted area, which makes it a very unstable area. It is all night sky, so I'm debating what to put in there. I could do a crescent moon or some stars, or just a few odd stitches. I'm inclined to do some very small stars.
Over the years I've done lots of sewing, so the only really new technique is quilting.
Lastly, Ferret is wondering about arranging a meetup at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham. Anyone else interested?
Posted by Penny at 1:59 pm
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Don't get me wrong, I haven't actually finished my Charmed quilt. At the time of posting, I hadn't even quilted it. I'd just done all the applique.
On Monday, I added some metallic threads to link the dragon and the wizard. Without them, the "back story" was hidden and it was just a collage of pictures. The daughter-creature knows what the metallic threads are: they are the lines of the spells the wizard is using. Will anyone else? Most specifically will anyone gets to decide whether the quilt wins a prize, or even gets hung up.
The metallic thread was made by wrapping metallic ribbon round a core of fine threads. This construction meant it frays easily: the metallic ribbon unrwaps, and then the core threads spray out. You can thread a needle with it when you have just cut it, but within a few minutes it seems too frayed to thread. In addition it frays while you sew. Not just at the end, but in the eye of the needle and if it twists.
That's the back: can you see what a mess the metallic thread is? I didn't finish it neatly, but just knotted it together. The dark lines are the thread's shadow: this picture was taken in full sunlight.
I love the background fabric: it makes me think of NASA photographs, with interstellar clouds and nebulae.
If you want to see some more nebulae, there are pictures here, here here here and the Horsehead nubula here and in unusual colours here. Enjoy!
Posted by Penny at 9:34 pm
Saturday, July 15, 2006
The dimensions of my "Charmed I'm Sure" are wrong. It is bothering me.
The competition rules say that the wallhangings are supposed to be 15 inches square. My wallhanging isn't.
My wallhanging is 15 1/4 inches by 14 3/4 inches. A whole 5mm out on both sides. Hugely wrong. At least that's how I feel about it.
I don't think it will be disqualified. It's not really far out - less then 2 percent.
It is completely hand sewn, and I've managed to get two small cuts that are making it very painful.
One is a paper cut - from cardboard - on the top of my left index finger. I seem to rely on the merest hint of a prick there to know when my needle is through the material, but this cut means that even the tiniest brush of a needle tip hurts.
The other is a scratch from a rose thorn on the base of my right index finger. Every pin on the wallhanging seems to scratch that exact spot when I sew.
Posted by Penny at 9:49 pm
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
I took scissor to fabric today, and made a start on "Charmed I'm sure".
As quilts go, it is in the "colour by numbers" end of quilting. I take a piece of fabric with pictures printed on it. I cut the pictures out. I affix them to fabric with sky or other pictures on it.
I don't create the pictures, just rearrange existing ones. I have (so far) restricted myself to material I already have. I need to buy wadding for the quilt sandwich. I want to get something that will make the dragon stand out (remember, the dragon has been drawn, I'm merely fixing it to the background), perhaps extra wadding.
I may buy some material for the binding. I may buy some material for the backing.
I have material that I could use for both of those, but I have this intellectual discord that says "its too nice and I might need it for something else". Then again, I could have said that about the dragon material. In fact, I did say that about the dragon material until I told myself to get over it.
I may or may not enter it in the competition. I'm just seeing how it goes.
In other news, knitty is out.
PS I'm glad y'all like my quilt.
Posted by Penny at 7:48 pm
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I realised I've probably said a lot about my leaf quilt, but you've never seen any pictures. So I took some this morning.
Currently it is in two pieces: I just need to sew them together.
Then add the borders, sort out the back, do the whole quilting thing, bind the edges, possibly add some more applique, and then actually put the darn thing to use. There's a little bit more work to do - perhaps twice what's already been done.
I'm rather pleased with the way I have done the stems of the leaves. Normally a maple leaf block has the stem appliqued in place before you start sewing the blocks together. When the blocks are sewn together, you end up with a right angle - like the stem on the left in the picture.
However, this quilt has a marginally more natural feel, so only some are like that. With others, I unpicked the applique stitches before sewing the blocks together (if I'd planned in advance I wouldn't have needed to unpick). Then I appliqued them so the stem went onto the next block. Some of the time, the stem only showed up on one neighbouring block (the one on the right) and some of the time on all the neighbouring blocks (central stem).
Posted by Penny at 8:19 pm